//ABTA board confirms refund obligation

ABTA board confirms refund obligation

Move will ‘reassure customers who book with ABTA members that the protections of the package holiday still apply,’ says Mark Tanzer

ABTA has confirmed that customers should be offered a full refund in the event the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to a destination

In accordance with the Articles of the Association, the Board agreed unanimously that ABTA members should offer refunds to their package holiday customers where the Foreign Office advises against travel at the time the customer is due to travel.

The ABTA Board met following recent representations made to ABTA concerning package holiday customers’ refund entitlement in the event of Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel to a destination.

Commenting on the Board’s decision, ABTA’s chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “This clarification by the ABTA board is welcome, and will reassure customers who book with ABTA members that the protections of the package holiday still apply, notwithstanding the challenges of the current Covid-19 situation.

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“Members may well be able to offer affected customers alternative destinations or travel dates, but ABTA has maintained since the beginning of the crisis that it expects its members to recognise refund obligations where they arise, and to work with customers to settle these obligations at the earliest opportunity. While we fully recognise the pressures faced by many members at present, the ABTA board’s position on this refund issue is in the best interest of customers, of the ABTA membership as a whole, and of the package travel industry.”

Today it was announced that ABTA’s flagship annual conference, The Travel Convention, will take place as a virtual one-day event.

There will be thought-provoking content around the future of travel and tourism, with keynote speakers, business sessions, a range of specialist workshops and networking opportunities delivered to delegates via a virtual event portal.

The portal will allow delegates to access the business sessions and specialist workshops, either live or on demand for up to a month after the event, network and request one to one meetings with other attendees and receive live technical assistance throughout the day. The business sessions will be broadcast from a virtual studio in central London, with Chris Ship, the Royal Editor at ITV News, returning to moderate for the fifth time.

The Travel Convention programme is developed around three key pillars: Our World, Our Industry and Your Business. This year’s theme is ‘Rebuilding Confidence in Travel’.